Media Release

Smartphone over sunscreen for 1.2 million Aussies

  • 14% of Aussies say their phone is the most important item for a beach day
  • 36% of Gen Z choose a smartphone ahead of any other item
  • What to do if you drop your phone in the water

11 January, Sydney, Australia – A day at the beach requires several essentials, and for many, smartphones are high on the list, reveals, the site that compares virtually everything.

In fact 14% of Australians - equivalent to 1.2 million people - say their smartphone is the most important item for a day at the beach above sunscreen, water, a hat and even a towel.

More than a third (36%) of Generation Z - or those under 22 years of age - are most likely to pack their smartphone above all else.

The survey of 2,017 respondents shows when asked about which items they prioritise for the beach, Gen Z chose on average sunscreen, their smartphone and a towel in that order.
Editor-in-chief and tech expert at, Angus Kidman, says that while smartphones provide hours of entertainment for a day at the beach, devices and the seaside don’t always mix.

“We take our phones everywhere and this extends to the beach, but this isn’t always the wisest decision."

“Smartphones don’t like salt water and they certainly don’t respond well to baking in the sun,” says Mr Kidman.

“You might have noticed your phone turning itself off when it gets too hot at the beach. Excessive heat affects the circuitry inside the device, it can make the battery swell and eventually explode, and it can also cause the screen to crack.”

“What many people also don’t realise is that water-resistant is vastly different to waterproof. Your water-resistant phone can cope with a casual splash, but not with a drenching. What’s more, resistance is measured in labs with clean water, not salt water. So take care to keep your phone dry.”

On average the top three beach items for Baby Boomers, Gen Y and Gen X are sunscreen, a towel, and hat and sunglasses.

“We need to remember the basic principle of Slip, Slop, Slap. As for keeping yourself busy, you can always bring a book, beach games or even the humble tennis ball to stay occupied,” says Mr Kidman.

How to save your phone after dropping it in water

  • Switch it off

This is crucial: turn it off, or if your phone has a removable battery, pop the back off and take the battery out as fast as possible.

  • Remove cards

If you have an Android phone, remove the SIM and SD cards from their slots.

  • Clean up the water

Remove as much water as possible and dab the phone dry. You can do this by using a cloth or sleeve

  • Rice to the rescue

Bury your phone in a ziplock bag full of uncooked rice for at least 24-28 hours, The rice will absorb moisture from all the nook and crannies you couldn’t get to.

  • Power it up

Once you’re happy that as much water is out of your powered-down phone, the next step is to switch the phone back on. This is best done with just the battery rather than having it plugged into a charger, because if there’s still water present, having mains power available could end badly for your device.


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About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

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12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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